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game day

Game Day Build-Up: Senators greet Griffins for the first time since 2019-20 season

December 8, 2023

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Dec.8/23 vs Grand Rapids Griffins (NHL Affiliate: Detroit Red Wings)                     

The Set-Up:

The Belleville Senators return home from their quick trip to Quebec, and a 5-2 win over the Laval Rocket, looking to continue their strong run of play against a much less familiar opponent. The Grand Rapids Griffins swoop into CAA Arena for two games this weekend, making their first visit to the Friendly City since the 2018-19 season. It’s also the first time these clubs have tangled since 2019-20, in Grand Rapids. The Senators are making a slow, but steady climb up the North Division standings with six games to go until Christmas, earning points in four straight games, while the Griffins have lost back-to-back games to begin a five-game road trip, including a 5-4 overtime loss at Toronto this past Tuesday.

 Previous History:

This is just the sixth overall meeting between the Sens and Griffins since Belleville joined the American Hockey League in 2017/18. Belleville has a 3-2-0-0 overall record against Grand Rapids and is 1-1-0-0 against the Griffins at CAA Arena. No current Senators were on the roster when these teams last faced off, on January 18, 2020, in Grand Rapids, when the Sens won 4-3 in a shootout. Parker Kelly, Morgan Klimchuk and Michael Carcone all scored for Belleville in that game, with Joey Daccord making 43 saves to earn the win.

Roster Notes:

The Senators have made two transactions since Wednesday’s win over the Rocket, with both moves coming in the crease. Goaltender Francis Leclerc was released from his professional tryout after backing up during Wednesday’s game, and fellow netminder Leevi Merilainen was reassigned to Belleville, from the Allen Americans (ECHL). Both Cole Reinhardt and Tarun Fizer both came off the injured list earlier this week. Full lineup details, including tonight’s alignment, will be available before puck drop.

Who to Watch:

Roby Jarventie (six games) and Garrett Pilon (four games) both extended their point streaks on Wednesday night, with a quartet of other players all notching points in back-to-back games. Egor Sokolov, Max Guenette, Lassi Thomson, and Jiri Smejkal (just recalled to Ottawa) all have points in their last two games. Angus Crookshank also has points in 12 of his last 15 games, including an assist on Wednesday in Laval.

Longtime Griffins forward Taro Hirose has been red hot of late, putting up 10 points (three goals, seven assists) over a seven-game point streak. Winger Jonathan Breggren (four goals, five assists) and defenceman Simon Edvinsson (two goals, seven assists) are both on six-game point streaks, while forward Zach Aston Reese had three points (one goal, two assists) in the overtime loss at Toronto earlier this week.

At the Rink:

Plenty is going on at CAA Arena tonight, including a special ceremonial puck drop by Cooper the Dog! Fans can also take advantage of the Sens “Stay Warm Sale” at the Locker Room Store, with discounts on toques, mitts, scarves, and blankets. And all game-worn jerseys will be on sale at the rink this weekend as well.

Ticket info:

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games for the remainder of the 2023-24 season are now on sale online, via Ticketmaster or the Belleville Sens Ticket Hub, by visiting the Belleville Sens Box Office at the Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre, or by emailing Box Office hours are available by clicking here.

Fans can also click the following links for more information on season seat membershipsflex packsgroup experiences or Business Elite memberships, or send an email to

Follow the action:

Tonight’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. (ET) and can be seen on AHL TV and heard on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. Pregame coverage from the CAA Arena in Belleville, Ontario, begins at 6:50 p.m. (ET) with David Foot and Tim Durkin.

The full 2023-24 Belleville Senators regular season schedule can be found by clicking here.

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